Contemplating the future.

Posted by & filed under reflections.

There’s a terrifying precariousness to farming on leased land. You put a lot of love into a home that is not yours, and at any moment it can be yanked out from under you. This fear is a prevalent part of my day to day life as a farmer, but not for any real reason except for the fact that I’ve got livestock to worry about and it’s not easy to find a place with a barn in a pinch. And around here, you don’t own property with a barn unless you’ve done very well for yourself. Needless to say, I’m not there yet.


For the time being, New Jersey seems like it’s going to be home. Neil needs to keep working in the city, since the farm isn’t making any money yet. We’re farming 3/4 of an acre of weird coastal soil and “we” usually means “me”. I’ve had to hire people that I cannot afford to help with the work but there’s just so much to do it seems like I never make a dent. I’m feeling pretty frightened and desperate but there are days when we have volunteers come to help with weeding and planting and mucking out goat stalls and I catch glimpses of a future where it’s not so scary. There might be a home and land that is ours one day. My bank account might have enough in it for a few months mortgage, some emergency cash and a winter vacation one day. One day, there might be security enough to start a family. I dream of “enough”. Scraping by just barely feels a lot like failure. Our CSA members might disagree, as we’ve been exceeding our own expectations as far as fulfillment of their shares. I do feel proud of that.


But, alas! I’m in my mid-thirties. I feel as though time is slipping away from me. I know what I want and I’m halfway there, but that last part of the journey seems nearly impossible. I really want to succeed. The hustle is starting to wear me thin.

3 Responses

  1. Daniel August 20, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    I haven’t been keeping up on my reading, I only saw this post today, when I visited to re-read The Tao of Everything. As a non-professional gardener (farmer?), I don’t have the stress of trying to make a living at it, but I do know the stress of constantly having more work to do than time to do it. Especially in August. It’s a very f**ked-up economic system that places such a low value on some of our most honorable, hard-working, and productive people. The compensation has to come from within, in a spiritual, non-monetary way, and that is exhausting, and doesn’t keep body and soul together. I can only offer as encouragement, that your life, and your chronicling of it, are an inspiration to me. And, I assume, many others. May I offer a hug in spirit? Namaste.

    • Bob Leonardi November 17, 2014 at 10:03 pm

      To Daniel (above) …. nice words/support/encouragement …… PS .. to Meg … is the reply button to the right of Daniels comments a reply to him..? Thanks in advance … Bob


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